Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire
Oh Mitch Trubisky…what are we going to do with you? I kept you on this list for 3 weeks, and even received a comment about the “mistake” I made. After your week 3 clunker, I finally benched you. I saw nothing suggesting you could capably hit your receivers downfield, and I even joked with my dad before the game about counting how many 10+ yards passes you would complete. Well, you let me have it in week 4, and now I find myself in a predicament: sit you again assuming week 4 was a fluke, and risk having missed the breakout when you repeat, or start you and get another 5 point dud along with a chorus of “told ya so” comments. Luckily, the Bears have the week off so I can kick the decision a bit further down the road. How did last week shape up overall? Let’s have a look.
|Player||Team||Opponent||Percent Owned||Fantasy Points|
|Mitch Trubisky||Chicago||Tampa Bay||15%||43.5|
|Jared Goff||LA Rams||Minnesota||89%||39|
|Kirk Cousins||Minnesota||LA Rams||97%||31.7|
|Blake Bortles||Jacksonville||NY Jets||32%||25.3|
|Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City||Denver||99%||22.9|
|Philip Rivers||LA Chargers||San Francisco||96%||22.7|
So, we nailed the 13th guy on the list as well as pointing out that Andy Dalton needed to be owned. If we average out all the guys on our list…Andy Dalton with 25.8 points, Baker Mayfield with 14.8 points, Eli Manning with 14.7 points, Case Keenum with 8.8 points, Joe Flacco with 22.2 points, and Ryan Tannehill with his 1 point, we average 14.6 points on the week. If we exclude Ryan Tannehill (our last-resort choice from last week), that jumps to 17.3 points. For reference, that would have outscored Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Ben Roethlisberger last week. Looking deeper at our results, we also saw some new faces pop up in our top 12. Mitch Trubisky, as mentioned earlier, popped in for the first time. Derek Carr followed suit with a breakout of his own…though his performances have been decidedly more consistent. Marcus Mariota put up double digit points for the first time yet this season, and Blake Bortles continues to play hot-cold with two amazing weeks and two forgettable ones. While I won’t ignore success, I want to point out that results can be fluky and we don’t want to chase a good week, unless there is reason to believe something significant has changed to create it. I won’t be starting Marcus Mariota this week in any league: there just isn’t enough evidence. I’ve got my eye on Carr though, as he hasn’t had a bad week yet. So, how about week 5? Let’s see…
Alex Smith (56%)
Alex Smith and Washington are off to a solid 2-1 start, and Smith has been good, if not great. He draws an excellent matchup against New Orleans, and there should be plenty of points to be had in this one. Pick up Smith if you can and start him against a Saints defense that has been so willing to give up points to anyone and everyone. I would start Smith over all streaming options if he is available on your waivers right now.
Derek Carr (43%)
Derek Carr has improved in fantasy points each week, topping out with 400+ yards and 4 touchdowns last week. While I don’t expect another increase (that would be nearly impossible), I think Carr makes for a fine fantasy option. He plays a Los Angeles Chargers team that has been generous to opposing quarterbacks, and I expect Carr to be a very safe play this week. While he feels safe, he still should have a high ceiling against a Chargers defense that sorely misses Joey Bosa. I like Carr for week 5, and he could prove to be someone you want to hold onto moving forward.
Blake Bortles (42%, stream of the week)
The Chiefs score points on anyone and everyone, and this forces opposing offenses to move the ball right back on them. As a great complement to this, Kansas City has a dreadful defense…they seemingly can’t stop anyone. They give up an average of about 350 yards and 2 touchdowns per week. What about Blake Bortles though? He has been a bit hot and cold, though he has the talent to put up a big week when necessary. I think the Chiefs will put up at least a couple touchdowns, and I think Bortles will be called on to answer. I like Blake Bortles in week 5 against a high-scoring offense with a bad defense.
Joe Flacco (30%)
To this point in the season, Joe Flacco is averaging more than 20 fantasy points per week. He is putting up better than 300 yards and 2 touchdowns per week, and he should be much more widely owned than the 30% he currently sits at. It’s clear that Baltimore is fielding a capable offense this year, and I am happy to throw Flacco out while it continues. Cleveland has a good defense in their own right, but I still expect each side to put up a couple touchdowns apiece, and for Flacco to get his. If you are in a BYE week or generally hurting, roll Flacco in week 5.
Ryan Tannehill (15%)
Ryan Tannehill had three decent weeks before a complete dud in week 4 against the Patriots. I should have trusted the Patriots to right the ship, and I should have stayed clear. While I will continue to say that Tannehill is not my #1 choice, he is startable in deeper leagues and 2-quarterback formats. Still, he should be considered the last option behind everyone else mentioned above…a last resort.